Mbah scraps Mondays’ sit-at-home exercise in Enugu

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu has scrapped the sit-at-home exercise observed every Mondays in the state.

The exercise is not only been complied with in the state but across the entire South-East geo-political zone where demands for its secession from Nigeria have been rife in recent times.

The outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) introduced it to protest the continued detention of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, but later discontinued and distanced itself from the order still being enforced by non-state actors.

Announcing its cessation on Thursday at the State Government House after his first meeting with heads of security agencies in his domain, Mr Mbah said the exercise was at variance with his administration’s quest to better the welfare of the residents of the state, hence the need to halt it.

“There is no time to waste. The clock has started ticking on the mandate you gave me and deliverables I promised,” he said. “A time comes in the lives of a people when they must decide whether they genuinely want to move forward or remain stuck with the conditions of their underdevelopment.

“The creativity and sense of industry of Ndi Igbo are remarkable. Our DNA is wired with commercial and entrepreneurial prowess.

“If this is what we are known by, then it becomes inconsistent with reality that the spirits of entrepreneurship, commerce and creativity are killed every Monday in our land. Our restless spirit of industry abhors laxity and indolence.

“The idea behind sitting at home on Monday, the first working and business day of the week, is abominable and antithetical to greatness and the spirit of industry we profess to have inherited from our forebears. This cannot be us. Tufiakwa (God forbid). It does colossal damage to us.

“For us to transit from a public service economy to a private sector-driven one, we must free our markets from the shackles of restriction to commerce. If indeed we aspire and anticipate an influx of private sector practitioners and investors in Enugu State, we must know that this will not happen where the perception of us is that of unproductive people.

“Therefore, those that strike on Mondays, putting restrictions in the way of our Igbo spirit of creativity, cannot be our true representatives. In fact, they kill our spirit.

“We know that our land is a fertile ground for commerce. However, businesses, entrepreneurship and commerce require a vibrant workforce and big markets where they can flourish and make money.

“To this end, therefore, from Monday June 6, 2023, there will be no observance of any sit-at-home in all nooks and crannies of Enugu State.

“Government will enforce this with all the powers at its disposal. My charge to all of you – market men and women, the corporate world, industries, schools, civil servants, and all strata of workers in Enugu State — is for us to take back our sense of industry, pride of place and re-enact our glorious past.

“By heeding to this call, you would have set us on the path of actualising our mandate.”

The new governor also called on President Bola Tinubu to release the leader of the proscribed group detained at the Abuja headquarters of the State Security Service (SSS).

“I call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to consciously work towards the release of MazI Nnamdi Kanu,” he appealed. “We believe that his release will expedite the healing process Nigeria needs at this time.

“It will also be a pointer to his administration’s extension of brotherly hands of fellowship to Ndigbo.”